Who supports the military dictatorship?

6 12 2014

As most readers will be aware, the United States government is meant to have cut off military assistance to Thailand following the 22 May 2014 military coup.

According to a section of the Foreign Assistance Act, first enacted in 1961, the United States is required to suspend foreign aid to any country that has a military coup. The law, according to its text, “restricts assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree.” When the military coup in Egypt occurred, there was considerable discussion of his requirement.

Picture from The Nation

Picture from The Nation

What has happened in Thailand?

Truthout, an independent and critical news outlet, examines this issue. Its analysis of military assistance to Thailand begins:

In the six months since Thailand’s military coup, the United States has exported tens of millions of dollars’ worth of military equipment to the unelected government there. This finding is based on a new analysis of US Census Bureau export data conducted by Truthout.

It continues to observe that:

The records, which run through September, show that since the May 22, 2014, coup, the United States has delivered $11 million in parts for military aircraft, more than $1 million in parts for guided missiles and three UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters worth more than $40 million.

And it is added that weapons that can be used against protesters or internal dissidents have continued:

… the United States has continued to deliver arms to the Thai government. In the month immediately after the military seized power, the US government exported more than $1 million in parts and accessories for military rifles and has continued to export hundreds of military rifles and shotguns since the May coup.

Further, it notes that:

When the Thai military took control of Thailand, the State Department suspended $4.7 million in foreign assistance as a result. However, the State Department has continued to approve possible arms sales to Thailand. The most recent example was in September, when nine UH-72A Lakota Helicopters and associated parts, service and support worth $89 million were approved. The State Department has also asked Congress for more than $11 million in foreign assistance to Thailand for 2015 – including $900,000 in military aid.

The report concludes that “US weapons deliveries to Thailand may be illegal under US law…”.



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